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Litigation Release No. 23450 / January 20, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. TelexFree, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-11858-NMG (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Carlos Nataniel Wanzeler and James Matthew Merrill, Civil Action No. 14-MJ-4172-DHH (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)

Florida Resident Ordered to Jail Based On Violating Court Orders Obtained by the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Sanderley Rodrigues de Vasconcelos ("Rodrigues") of Davenport, Florida, who is charged with promoting a pyramid scheme, was ordered to jail for civil contempt arising from his repeated violations of court orders obtained by the Commission in its civil action filed in 2014 against Rodrigues.

On April 15, 2014, the Commission filed an emergency civil action against TelexFree, Inc., Rodrigues and several other defendants and obtained from the U.S. District Court in Boston certain preliminary relief, including an order freezing the assets of Rodrigues. On June 10, 2015, Rodrigues consented to a court order requiring him to provide an accounting listing all assets and transactions over $500. On August 12, 2015, the Commission asked the court to hold Rodrigues in contempt, alleging that Rodrigues had transferred or disposed of assets and had failed to provide the court-ordered accounting. On December 18, 2015, the judge in the SEC's civil case held Rodrigues in contempt for violating the terms of the court's orders by: 1) transferring $233,473 out of his bank accounts; 2) selling a Mercedes Benz CLS; 3) selling a Ferrari F340; 4) transferring three Florida condominiums; and 4) failing to provide the court-ordered accounting. The court ordered Rodrigues to return all assets that he had transferred or disposed of in violation of the asset freeze, with a deadline of January 15, 2016. The court further warned Rodrigues that, if he failed to do so, he would be incarcerated for the contempt. On January 15, 2016, the Commission notified the court that Rodrigues had failed to comply with the December 18, 2015 order. On January 15, 2016, the court ordered Rodrigues held in jail until such time as he complies with the court's December 18, 2015, order.

In related proceedings, on November 25, 2015, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Massachusetts ordered that the debtors in the TelexFree bankruptcy proceeding operated a Ponzi and pyramid scheme and are jointly and severally liable for the claims of victims.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Scott R. Stanley, James Fay, Mark Albers, John McCann, Frank Huntington and Kevin Kelcourse of the SEC's Boston Regional Office. The SEC's litigation is being led by Mr. Huntington and Deena Bernstein.

For further information, see Litigation Release Nos. 22974 (April 17, 2014)(SEC Halts Pyramid Scheme Targeting Dominican and Brazilian Immigrants) and 22992 (May 13, 2014) (Criminal Charges Filed Against Two Principals of Massachusetts-Based Telexfree)



Modified: 01/20/2016